Liadh Ni Riada with Nenagh Sinn Fein members and Nora O'Meara of North Tipperary Genealogy Centre
Sinn Fein presidential candidate Liadh Ni Riada's cousin, well known Nenagh music teacher Betty Callanan, has said she is “delighted” that the MEP will contest the presidential election campaign.
Ms Ni Liada, an MEP for Ireland South, was nominated on Sunday by Sinn Fein to run in the election, which takes place in October.
“I am delighted for her,” Betty told the Tipperary Star. “It is exciting.”
Ms Ni Riada is a first cousin of Betty's father.
She described Liadh as a “strong girl”, who was “resiliant”.
“She lost her father when she was four and her mother when she was 10,” recalled Betty.
Ms Ni Riada was a regular visitor to Nenagh when she was younger and would spend summer holidays in the town as a child.
“JKC's was her favourite shop,” recalled Betty. The toyshop and stationery on Pearse Street is run by former Tipp hurler Michael Cleary.
Betty said that she hadn't seen much of Liadh since she became an MEP, but said they met up in August last year at Feile na Laoch which is organised by Liadh's brother, the composer Peadar O Riada, in Cuil Aodh.
“Michael D was there,” she said.
The Feile is dedicated to the memory of the Irish composer and creator Seán Ó Riada, Liadh's father.
Sinn Fein Nenagh said in a statement that they were delighted to nominate Liadh Ni Riada to contest the presidential election as the Sinn Fein candidate.
“Liadh is a regular visitor to Nenagh and was here only a few months back when she toured Nenagh's historical and culture sites. Liadh also has family in the town of Nenagh.,” they said.